The Raptors finished the preseason with a 108-103 win tonight over New York in front of 22,114 fans in Montreal. They’ll get the regular season started Wednesday at the ACC against those same Knicks, and in the days leading up we’ll wrap up the Raptors preview. Today’s subject, forward/center David Andersen:
So the Raptors picked up a foreign big man from a team in Texas that shoots the long ball? Welcome to Toronto, Dirk Nowitzki! Oh wait — it was David Andersen from the Houston Rockets? Okay, well that’s not quite as exciting. The 6’11” Australian got his start in the NBA last year after nine seasons in the Euroleague, averaging 5.8 points off the bench.
The Raptors scooped up the 30-year-old Andersen in a draft day deal with the Rockets, sending a second round pick in 2015 to make it all work. That, by default, gives a hint to his value, or at least what he’s shown himself to be worth in his one season in the NBA. Nevertheless, Andersen has made a name for himself overseas as a part of three Euroleague championship teams — Virtus Bologna in 2001 and CSKA Moscow in 2006 and 2008 — and as MVP of the Italian League finals with Montepaschi Siena in 2004. I haven’t seen him play much myself, but Andersen’s resume makes him look like the Euroleague’s version of Robert Horry. Or something like that.
Along with a decorated resume, Andersen features a unique game that’s about as unorthodox as his haircut. Like Andrea Bargnani, he shoots the deep ball from the four and five positions and isn’t known for making much of a contribution on the opposite end of the floor. With Houston in 2009-10, Andersen shot 34.6% (which, granted, isn’t even that effective) from deep but averaged just 3.3 boards and 0.2 blocks in just over 14 minutes. While versatile big men are fun to watch, there are few that have been contributors to strong teams, with Nowitzki being one of the exceptions.
2009-10 with Houston: 63 games (no starts), 43.2% from the field, 34.6% from three and 68.7% from the line, 5.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 0.19 blocks in 14.1 minutes per game.
What to expect: With a similar role off the bench to what he had in Houston, look for Andersen to put up similar numbers.